Strzegom Saturday Cross Country

Strzegom Saturday Cross Country

Hot still out in Strzegom but Tim did say that slight cloud cover and a hint of a breeze made it rideable.  They run some 10-15 classes out there so some careful xc walking is required as the cross country track resembles Robin Dumas’ schooling ground at Rosemount Farm with plenty of twists, turns and repeat entries through waters and taking the wrong line could be pretty easy.

Tim and Jonelle just have the one track to follow which definitely makes life easier.  In true Strzegom style it was a little bit of everything…lots of twisty combinations, some big ditches, allot of waters and a track that asked for honesty and commitment.  When Jonelle set out only one of the first 5 had made it home and she and George were on song from fence 1 for sure.

This was a different George to Pratoni George.  Maybe he is getting more used to traversing Europe?  He has picked up a few travel miles with his trip to Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy backed up by Poland but he is a good traveller, unlike his precocious half sister Faerie Dianimo.  ( Maggie May… who prefers to fly if you don’t mind).  Maybe Maggie May had a word before she left to go back to Trisha’s estate by the sea in Lymington, maybe George decided to step up but he sure delivered today with a blistering round where he fought a couple of times and added strides  only occasionally as he rose to the challenge of 4*L with class.  He and Jonelle looked simply marvellous and you had to take your hat off to him…and, as always, his rather incredible pilot!  They sit in the lead but Jonelle is rueing her 5 time that means she doesn’t have a rail in hand…and our George is a bit of a 4 faulter!  As Jonelle said, she could have set out faster but the remnants of a cough that he travelled out with were in her mind and as always horse health comes first.

Tim and Polystar (Nero) set out two horses later and what a round to watch.  Nero is like a Rolls Royce to view…he is a very different kettle of fish to George… he’s a good 17hh to George’s 16 ish, he’s been trained by Chris Burton ( as Tim said, what a total luxury to ride a horse trained by Burto) and he has had a quiet couple of years since he won 3 ERM’s on the trot.  Tim set out in a lovely rhythm and stayed within it, he pressed the ‘go’ button a couple of times in a combination and Nero answered immediately, they were a cross country masterclass from start to finish and they did so beautifully to add some 11 time and to sit in 3rd.  The aim was a Burghley qualification and its just the jog and the showjumping to go to tick the boxes.

It has been a long hot week but the horses have been amazing.  Two horses at the opposite end of the spectrum…Nero on his sundowner and George on his ascendant.  How cool that Strzegom can tick the boxes for both.

NZL-Jonelle Price rides Faerie Magnifico during the Cross Country for the CCI4*-L. Interim-1st. 2022 POL-Strzegom International Horse Trials. Strzegom, Poland. Saturday 25 June 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography